Israeli Reporter Sparks Outrage After Promoting Palestinian Rock Throwing

Haaretz’s Amira Hass

Left-wing Israeli reporter Amira Hass penned a column this week in which she encouraged Palestinians to throw rocks at Israelis, even suggesting the method be taught in schools.

“Throwing stones is the birthright and duty of anyone subject to foreign rule,” she wrote in the Haaretz daily on Wednesday.

One such rock attack last month critically injured three-year-old Adele Biton. As the toddler continues to fight for her life, her mother Adva Biton slammed Hass’s suggestions and invited the reporter to come see for herself the results of Palestinian rock-throwing.

“Amira, come to the ICU, look at my Adele, a three-year-old child, connected to tubes,” Biton wrote in Maariv.

“Come experience with me what I am dealing with. Amira, a rock does not distinguish between different people’s blood, and not between an adult and a three-year-old child. A rock kills. A rock is a killing tool for all intents and purposes. Three weeks ago I experienced firsthand how one rock can change a whole family’s life,” Biton added.

Israeli Reporter Sparks Outrage After Promoting Palestinian Rock Throwing

Adele Biton is fighting for her life after Palestinians threw rocks at her mother’s car, causing it to slam into a truck (Family photo via Israel Hayom)

The Yesha Council, a group which advocates for Jews living in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) has filed complaints with the Jerusalem police and with Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, accusing Hass and her newspaper Haaretz of inciting to violence.

The group called Hass’s article a “paean” to stone-throwing, which legitimizes an act “which has caused death and serious injuries.”

Notably, on Tuesday — just one day before Hass’s article was published — a Palestinian was convicted in the 2011 murder of Asher Palmer and his baby son, Jonathan, having thrown a massive stone which caused the car in which they were riding to overturn.

Those stones target not only civilians, but also ambulances en route to treat the sick and wounded. An Israeli blog, the Muqata on Thursday posted photos of damaged Magen David Adom ambulances including these:

Israeli Reporter Sparks Outrage After Promoting Palestinian Rock Throwing

Israeli Magen David Adom ambulance after Palestinian rock attack (Photo from The Muqata)

Israeli Reporter Sparks Outrage After Promoting Palestinian Rock Throwing

A rock thrown at Magen David Adom ambulance (Photo from The Muqata)

Referring to stone-throwing as a legitimate form of “resistance,” Hass wrote, “Even if it is a right and duty, various forms of steadfastness and resisting the foreign regime, as well as its rules and limitations, should be taught and developed. Limitations could include the distinction between civilians and those who carry arms, between children and those in uniform, as well as the failures and narrowness of using weapons.”

“It would make sense for Palestinian schools to introduce basic classes in resistance,” she wrote.

Israeli Reporter Sparks Outrage After Promoting Palestinian Rock Throwing

Asher Palmer and his son Yonatan were killed in 2011 by a Palestinian rock-thrower (Family photo via Ynet)

Politicians from the left and right as well as rival newspapers blasted Hass’s column.

Deputy Transportation Minister Tzipi Hotovely said, “A stone can be used as a weapon and stone-throwing cannot be given legitimacy.”

Yossi Beilin, a former left-wing politician, wrote in Israel Hayom that though he holds “Amira Hass in high regard” and believes she is “a very courageous woman” for voicing unpopular opinions, he found her column to be “surprising and disappointing.”

“Throwing stones is a violent act that may kill or maim,” Beilin wrote, adding, “Those who believe in peace have no right to preach violence. Or encourage throwing stones, for that matter.”

Hass for years chose to live among the Palestinians in both Gaza and Ramallah, where she writes columns sympathetic to the Palestinian cause and highly critical of Israel. She has likened Israeli rule in the West Bank to South African “apartheid” and travels overseas to promote international intervention.

But her pro-Palestinian credentials haven’t always protected her. In 2008, Hass was forced to flee Gaza due to threats on her life after writing articles critical of Hamas.

Israel Hayom Columnist Dror Eydar is calling her a self-hating Jew and goes so far as to point out her name means “hatred” in German:

Is there any difference between the stone-thrower who was found guilty of killing someone, and Amira Hass, who justified — and effectively encouraged — such action in her despicable column this week? Yes. There is a huge difference. In the world we live in, self-hating Jews and other “random” Jews, are considered to be one and the same.

Thus, if Hass condones rock-throwing terrorism, the thinking goes, she could teach us something.

“Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all,” says the Bible (Proverbs 31:29). In the case of Hass (“hatred” in German), many self-hating Jews do their job well, but she has surpassed them all.[…]

Dear mothers, just days before the Holocaust Remembrance Day and the Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism, the merciful sister Hass is encouraging her allies to inflict harm “only” on your sons and daughters while they are serving in the Israel Defense Forces. In a Hebrew-language paper.[…]

This is not about free speech; even die-hard liberals would not sanction freedom of expression that results in innocent civilians being killed. Hass’ column advocates precisely that. Terrorists will now tuck it in every suicide vest they blow up on Israelis and diligently wrap it around every stone they hurl at them; as they do that, they will cite their “birthright and duty.”

Adva Biton, the injured toddler’s mother writes (as translated by Arutz 7): “I agree with you, Amira, that every person deserves freedom. Arab and Jew alike. I agree with you that we should all strive for freedom, but nobody will achieve freedom and liberty by killing. There’s no reason that Adele, my daughter, age three, needs to lie in the ICU, intubated and fighting for her life, and there is no reason that you, Amira, should encourage it. Why should my Adele pay this price? Did she manage to do any evil to someone in the three years in which she has lived?”

“I invite you, Amira, come to intensive care and experience with me what I have been going through. But I do not really suggest that you put yourself in my place, hear the screams of your daughters in the torn apart car, remain fully conscious and experience my helplessness, the inability to move and help. To see your three-year-old girl fighting for her life, without having any ability to influence the situation,” the mother writes.